Election forecaster moves 26 races in favor of Dems

Election forecaster moves 26 races in favor of Dems
© Greg Nash

A top election forecaster has moved more than two dozen House races in favor of Democrats.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball, an election handicapper at the University of Virginia, announced the ratings changes Thursday morning.

This is the first time in this election cycle that fewer than 218 seats have been at least rated as leaning Republican. All Democratic incumbents' races are now rated at least “likely Democratic.”

The ratings also name Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign Blue wave poses governing risks for Dems Dems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests MORE (R-Wis.) for the first time. Ryan’s seat was moved from “safe” to “likely Republican." The group noted that reports that he may not run for reelection were the primary reason the move.

The forecaster moved five seats defended by GOP incumbents from “leans Republican” to “toss-up,” and one open New Hampshire seat from “toss-up” to “leans Democratic.”

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One of the most significant ratings changes is the special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, which is now rated as a “toss-up.” A recent poll showed Democrat Conor Lamb holding a slim lead against state Rep. Rick Saccone (R) in the race for the deep-red district, which Trump won by double digits in the 2016 election.

The University of Virginia forecasters wrote that they think the odds of Democrats flipping the House in the midterm elections “are only about 50-50,” but said that those odds are “generous” to the GOP.